What is Journalism For?

What is journalism for? How does it function? What is its purpose? Are there societal goals? These questions have all been called into question in recent years given downward trends in print readership, but there is still hope for the future, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education and quotes from these Millennial journalists in the Midwest:

Journalism is written for citizens to give them the information and truth they need to rule themselves, or be sovereign. It seeks to balance and moderate perspectives so a more comprehensive understanding is available and vocalized. Journalism seeks to make fact and events meaningful for people to make an informed judgment.

-Karis Lee, author of “Emma Watson vs. Taylor Swift: An Icon Millennials Need #TeamEmma

Journalism, at its core, is digging into news and providing people with stories they want to hear.

It is to leave people, at the very least, in the know.

At it’s best, it inspires, motivates, strongly resonates, moves, etc. While it should be very informative, it should also be very memorable and really speak to readers.

It should also be interesting! No one likes reading boring news. News is life, and life is interesting, therefore news should be interesting! Journalism is for emanating that spark to readers and keeping them engaged and wanting to learn more about the world they live in.

-Marisa Iglesias, author of “Disney Princesses- New Face of Millennial Feminism?

In general, I think journalism is meant to inform the public on issues that should matter to them. It is difficult for people to know what is going on in the communities around them simply by word of mouth. Journalism does the hunting for the readers. Journalists find the facts on stories that should be told so the community members don’t have to. Journalism also gives voice to those who don’t have a platform to tell their stories. Sometimes people who have compelling stories that could help a community have no venue to share it in. Journalism presents an opportunity for those people to have their stories shared in a large scale.

-Becca Hamilton, author of “Women’s Rights in India: What Can American Millennials Do?

Journalism is about informing. It’s not just giving people the news, it’s telling them what they need to know and why they need to know it. Journalists have the power to dictate what is important in current events based on how they cover and report it. They also have a responsibility to the truth. They sometimes need to put aside their own opinions and bias in order to dig for the real answers that people are looking for, and other times they use their powers of persuasion to move people into action.

-Abby Dorman,  author of “The economics of college sports: student non-athletes are the real MVPs

When journalists research a story, their job is to understand what they are writing about. When it comes time to write their story, they need to compile all the information they gathered and craft it so that it is more palatable for their readers. The easier the article is to grasp, the more the reader can gain from it.

Journalism is turning something complex into something simple so that the journalist’s audience can understand and benefit from it. To that end, journalism is for the betterment of the audience.

-Kirkland An,  author of “How far we’ve come: a check-in on the sex trade

Journalism is for…

– telling the public what matters, what is important
– creating awareness about what’s happening in the world
– what is now & what is next
– functioning as a force of good in the world
– people need to hear stories of hope, truth, and good
– finding hope in stories of tragedy, destruction, and evil
– starts with a sensitivity/ability to see injustice/wrongdoing
– having the courage to speak out
– mobilizing and encouraging people to act for change
– speaking to structures of power, speaking for those whose voices aren’t heard
– creating a space for the voices of those who are silenced and marginalized
– a beautiful photograph or a beautifully written story can move people, transcend barriers
– the act of creation

-Sarah Britton Miller,  author of “Beyond the screen: taking hashtag activism into the real world

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